Australian Open 1973,1975
US Open 1967,1973
John Newcombe had a good serve-volley game and a strong nerve. Newcombe was a charismatic player with the instincts of a champion. He was most at home on grass, on which he won all of his Grand Slam titles. Newcombe was one of the first players to visit a sports psychologist and was constantly looking to improve all aspects of his game. Newcombe made his Grand Slam debut in 1960 at the Australian aged just 15. It took several years before he established himself as a top player. At the 1965 Australian Open Newcombe came from two sets to one down to beat Bill Bowrey in the quarters before losing in straight sets to Emerson in the semis. At the 1966 Australian Open Newcombe lost in the semis to Emerson in four sets. At the US Open he beat Arthur Ashe in the third round, Wilhelm Bungert from two sets to love down in the fourth round, Mark Cox in the quarters in five sets and Manuel Santana in four sets in the semis to make it to the final unseeded. There he lost to Fred Stolle in four sets. At the 1967 Australian Open Newcombe lost in the semis to Ashe in four sets. At Wimbledon he beat Nikki Pilic in the semis and thrashed Wilhelm Bungert in the final. At the US Open he beat Clark Graebner in straight sets in the final. Then the game went open. At the 1969 French Open Newcombe outlasted Jan Kodes 11-9 in the fifth set in the fourth round before going out in five sets to Tom Okker in the quarters. At Wimbledon he beat Fred Stolle in four sets in the fourth round, Okker in four sets in the quarters and Roche in four sets in the semis. In the final he led Rod Laver 4-1 in the third set at one set all. However, Laver raised his game and went on to win in four sets. At the US Open Newcombe came from two sets to love down to beat Stolle 13-11 in the fifth set in the quarters before losing 8-6 in the fifth set to Roche in the semis. At Wimbledon 1970 he overcame Roy Emerson 11-9 in the fifth set in the quarters, Andres Gimeno in straight sets in the semis. In the final the crowd was behind Ken Rosewall and were so partisan that Newcombe lost his temper with them at one point. After five sets Newcombe was the victor and Rosewall had failed once again to take the one Grand Slam title that eluded him. At the US Open Newcombe beat Arthur Ashe in four sets in the quarters before losing in straight sets to Rosewall in the semis. Then he grew his famous moustache, which has remained ever since. At Wimbledon 1971 Newcombe dropped just five games to Rosewall in the semis before coming from two sets to one down to beat Stan Smith in the final. At the 1972 Australian Open Newcombe surprisingly lost in the quarters to veteran Mal Anderson 9-7 in the fifth set. He was unable to go for a hat trick of titles at Wimbledon because there was a ban on contract pros competing. At the 1973 Australian Open Newcombe beat Onny Parun in the final in four sets to take his first Australian title. At the US Open he overcame Jimmy Connors in straight sets in the quarters, Ken Rosewall in straight sets in the semis and Kodes in five sets in the final. At Wimbledon 1974 he lost in four sets in the quarters to Rosewall. At the US Open Newcombe outlasted Ashe in five sets in the quarters before losing in four sets to Rosewall in the semis. In the semis of the 1975 Australian Open Newcombe faced Roche. Roche led 5-2 in the fifth set and had three match points before Newcombe eventually won the set 11-9. He faced Jimmy Connors in the final. Both players were confident of victory over the other in what was dubbed a grudge match. "He should do more talking with his racquet and less with his mouth" said Connors. "A match with Connors is something I've wanted for a long time" said Newcombe. Trailing two sets to one, Connors was 5-3 down in the fourth set and faced match point but he fought back and the set went to a tiebreak. Connors fought back from 4-1 down in the breaker to earn two set points at 6-5 and 7-6. However, Newcombe won the breaker 9-7 and with it his second Australian Open title. Defending his title the following year Newcombe lost surprisingly to Mark Edmondson in the final in four sets. At the 1977 Australian (Dec.) he lost in the quarters to John Lloyd in four sets. Newcombe played his final Grand Slam event at Wimbledon 1978, where he lost in straight sets in the fourth round to Raul Ramirez. Newcombe started the New South Wales Wheelchair Tennis Association, has spoken up for Australia's aborigines, was chairman of the short-lived International Tennis Players Association and was Australia's Davis Cup captain for several years with his old buddy Roche as coach.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: M.Anderson 1-1, A.Ashe 3-2, B.Bowrey 2-0, J.Connors 2-0, M.Edmondson 0-1, R.Emerson 1-3, A.Gimeno 1-0, J.Kodes 2-1, R.Laver 0-1, C.McKinley 1-0, M.Orantes 1-0, R.Osuna 0-1, N.Pietrangeli 0-1, T.Roche 3-2, K.Rosewall 3-3, M.Santana 1-0, S.Smith 2-0, F.Stolle 2-4, B.Teacher 1-0
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